As a mother of three sons, I could
probably teach Superheroes 101. After all, I’ve been rubbing shoulders
with these fictional characters for years. After enough Iron Man
backpacks, Spider-Man costumes, Batman cars and Avengers snacks, I
wanted to find real-life heroes who could inspire my boys in the same
way as these comic-book characters. These men and women would allow my
kids to see that brave and noble adventures are found in the real world,
as well. Here is what I did:
First, I studied my
children. Their interests became a springboard for my research. One of
my sons seemed especially touched by the bravery of soldiers. So I
taught him about the youngest general of the Revolutionary War, a man
named Lafayette, who served without pay.
Closer to home
family tree includes an ancestor who recovered money stolen during a
stagecoach robbery. He received a reward from the bank for his efforts.
My boys were excited to learn this Wild West hero was their own
Bethany Hamilton lost her arm when a shark attacked her. Her unwavering
faith in God and her tenacity in making a surfing comeback is legendary.
Sharing inspirational biographies with my children has allowed them to
learn about people today who have done something heroic.
Sometimes we must look under the surface to find the heroes
among us. By seeking out opportunities to volunteer with local seniors,
talking with them and learning about their stories, my boys and I
connected with many whose heroism was disguised only by the mask of old
Never underestimate the power of a true tale in the life of
a child — it may just inspire him to be a real-life hero.